Christmas Open House at the Nathaniel Dean House


Dean House

On the 2nd Sunday of the month between May and October and December the Nathaniel Dean House is open to visitors.

During the Fall and Winter (Oct & Nov, Jan – April) they are now  are partnering with the Monona Public LIbrary to sponsor a Monona History Club series of programs.  see their web site calendar for details.

A beautiful, warm Victorian home, it is the only house museum in Madison. This month the house was decorated for Christmas and turned out to be quite well attended.  Inside the back porch was a 1890 Albany Cutter  with Santa in it!

Albany Cutter at Dean House IMG_9564

Inside was quite festive too. Lots of people were already there visiting. It was my visit since summer 2014 during their Back Porch Concert series.  In the living room we were treated to Christmas music performed by two harpists.  Very beautiful music ladies!


Harpists IMG_9717

The dollhouse even had a Christmas tree in one of the rooms.

Dollhouse Christmas room IMG_9725

Mini Christmas tree on table IMG_9713

Dean House treat table IMG_9718

Dean House Living Room and Dining Room

Many VIPs from the Blooming Grove Historical Society were there.

Dorothy Haines, a long time member of the Blooming Grove Historic Society and former Board member and acts as a greeter during our open houses.  She is also the author of Monona in the Making: History of the City of Pride, 1938-1975  which was published by HBGHS in 1999.  It costs $20.  She was warmly greeting guests and was a pleasure to chat with.

Also Gary Hess, who had recently finished his book co-written by Curator Ann Waidelich. His family had a cooperage business in Madison at Schenk’s Corners. He made these historical markers a reality.

 Gary Hess and display

Frank J. Hess sign backFrank Hess Cooperage sign

Frank Hess Cooperage photo on marker

Roll Out the Barrels Gary Hess

Gary will be talking about his book at the Monona Public Library on Feb 14, 2016.

Sunday, February 14, 2016
2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Roll Out the Barrels: The History of Barrel Making in Madison
Monona History Club
Monona Public Library, 1000 Nichols Road, Monona
Garry Hess will talk about his book that describes how his grandfather Frank J. Hess, father and uncles made wooden beer barrels at Schenk’s Corners for 62 years.

Author William Weidmann was also there with his new book, “A Trip Back in Time”.  It was written for 2nd-3rd graders to complement their visit to the Dean House as they learn about local Monona history. It is not for sale at this time, just during the open house.

A Trip Back in Time book at Dean House

I just heard Ann announce she was giving a tour at 1:30. I tagged along, it had been awhile since our first tour in January 2014.  We began in the parlor.

Parlor IMG_9742

 After Ann showed us the first and 2nd floor rooms,  I then met the Dean House Manager, Robert Bean. He gave us a special tour of the basement level.  This is not a regular feature of the Dean House yet, only when Bob is there. He showed two ladies and myself farm tool implements and even some lockers left from when the Dean house was used by the Monona Golf Course. Thank you Ann and Bob!

Robert Bean at Dean HouseRober Bean Door Sign IMG_9678

Golf Lockers IMG_9704

I had a great afternoon visiting this beautiful historic house again and talking to members of the historic society.  They kindly request you donate a minimum of $2 when you visit or better yet, join!  Happy Holidays from the Dean House!


Dean House Donation box IMG_9614

Father Christmas Dean House IMG_9605

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